Which makes me realize... I'm not as cool and collected as I liked to believe I am.
But your comments were really helpful. And also kind and gentle. I thank you for both elements.
Last night I had a dream that I was hanging around and hooking up with a (different) guy and feeling really happy when the guy said to me, "I hope you don't mind that I'm not really into commitment."
I was about to automatically answer, "That's cool, I'm not either," but instead paused to ponder whether that answer was actually true... when I was awoken by the real life sound of my actual baby, crying. Shivering, too, with a sudden and dramatically high fever.
I dosed her up with Motrin and put her back to bed and then lay down again myself. And thought some more.
I like the idea of a friend with benefits. Very much so.
But I'm not sure that this guy is that guy. I have feelings for him. I'm not sure what those feelings mean. I know -- I'm pausing here to tell you that I am about to tell you something that is painfully honest and embarrassing -- that ever since we've talked, I'm having fantasies about a future together. On the flip side, I don't think they are necessarily serious fantasies. More like wandering down fantasy lane than getting out a date book and mentally scheduling our second child's high school graduation party. But still.
And he has feelings for me, though probably different than mine. I know that he thinks really highly of me, puts me on a pedestal, even. Which makes me feel fantastic. It's great to be around someone that thinks you look great, even when you look like shit, and thinks you're funny and smart and seriously sexy, even when you are three months post partum and are your heaviest weight ever and are juggling breast pads and diapers. I mean, that's seriously complimentary, right? But this also makes it hard for me to see him as just a f*ck buddy.
I thought about Bina's astute comment that "this guy is relationship material, not FWB material." I think she's right.
My current plan is to see him and almost certainly hook up with him at this campout event in August... but keep it restricted to these once or twice a year events for the time being. I think that if I restrict it to the hazy campfire light of these out-of-my-actual-life experiences, I will be fine.
But I will do my best to restrict his access to my actual real life for a good long while, if not permanently.
Thanks to SIF for chiming in... I know we have similar backgrounds, of not putting ourselves first... but also of having a lot of trouble envisioning what it would look like to put ourselves first.
To Sabrina, I like the idea of FWB guidelines. I realize, reading your suggestions, that yes, I need to have "warm fuzzies" for a person in order to have sex with them. And yes, this can make maintaining boundaries difficult. Which is why I never considered the possibility of any sort of physical (or emotional) entanglement until a few weeks ago.
As far as waiting to have sex until she's older... I'm not willing to commit to that. At least, not on anyone else's advice. Until a few weeks ago, I would've told you that I probably wouldn't have sex for another ten years, because it was just too damn complicated and interfered with my priorities in life... but as soon as someone tells me I ought to wait... Well, I'm a contrarian. Time will tell.